Here, Filmmaker Bill Deneen accompanies a Franciscan priest, John Farrell, and his boat 'Pio XII,' as they ply the backwaters of the Amazon River. There are many ethnographic elements to the film, one of the most notable of which is a ceremony in which a man stands in the sun, his hand being eaten by soldier ants, in a village ritual. Deneen was attacked by piranhas and bitten during the filming. For more on Deneen, visit http://www.afana.org/deneen.htm
June 2, 2010 Subject:
Cathaholics being eaten by pirhanas?
Oooooo I gotta watch that!
(probably a first for any one of their deities almost being able to walk on water - well at least to thrash around madly... well at least that is closer and sort of more believable than going into low earth orbit)
I gave the 4 star rating to the pirhanas, they could have gotten another star if there were more of them and they all took bigger bites.
May 14, 2010 Subject:
Trying to mediate a vandal
The sanctimonious rantings of politically correct prigs notwithstanding, this is a marvelous film tour of the Amazon. The missionaries are not much different from Peace Corps volunteers in their actual work. Anyone wishing to teach someone else does so from a certain advantage, in that they have knowledge or skill to impart that can benefit others without that knowledge or skill. The notion that civilization has more to contribute to primitive cultures than vice-versa should be a no-brainer, but some fall short even of that minimum threshold, with their mindless cultural relativism.
This film is I suppose a recruiting film for Catholic missionaries. In it you will find several back-handed comment and outright put-downs of the cultures of people along the Amazon River in Brazil. Movies like these are quite dangerous, really. You'll hear the constant references to "civilization." And how the goal is not to understand and respect and learn from these cultures as much as to spread western ideals.The date on the film is 1961, so I didn't really expect any of today's more enlightened views towards non-Occidental cultures. Still, make sure you're in the mood to make fun of such things before you watch it. By the end, I found myself wanting to see these guys to end up in a huge pot of boiling water surrounded by hungry natives. Surprised no one reviewed this flick. You know, it really is OK to be POLITICALLY CORRECT in some situations.